Trade Shows: Are They Worth It?

Most of our clients have trade show schedules and are reluctant to give them up. The costs for most shows are in the tens of thousands per show which doesn’t include your sales people time.

According to the trade show bureau, it takes 3.6 touches to make an average B2B sales from a trade show lead rather than 6.7 touches from other leads.

So are trade show leads better than other leads you pass on to your sales team? I’d like to get your input.



5 Responses to Trade Shows: Are They Worth It?

  1. Rick Bond says:

    Yes, trade shows are worth it. Properly executed, there is likely no greater marketing investment for companies whose primary marketing strategy is direct sales ( such as industrial distributors).
    Picking the right shows is important, starting with having a specific customer focused strategy ( vertical markets, geographies).
    I would also emphasize how poorly many companies execute a trade show. Every detail of the booth is a visual billboard, and strategies for greeting and drawing customers to the booth are critical. I am shocked how many times I walk down the aisle of a show and see a plain booth with a representative sitting in a chair writing emails on their laptop. Certainly those folks are not getting good results from the trade shows. Sending the “second team” to represent the company yields predicatble results. Good representation will help you engage potential customers, you are spending a lot of money to get a touch to the customer, why send an intern or a new rep who knows nothing about the company?
    I think many of us are becoming very selective on large national shows, and seeking smaller regional shows that give us touches in desired niche markets.
    I think that we can all agree on one thing, there are soem pretty crummy shows out there, and there is a valid concern when companies spend a lot of money to exhibit with little return. Be strategic and properly execute, and shows will have a grea payoff, in my experience.

  2. Rob Fisher says:

    Great points Rick. I agree, trade shows are worth it. As stated above, you must have a plan. I think it is the best way to build one on one relationships within the industry. Here’s a tip, fly in a day early and visit some distributors before the show. Great topic John, love the blog.

  3. David Friedfeld says:

    Trade shows are an excellent way to generate leads. To maximize the experience, exhibiting vendors must go all in. This includes contacting prospects before the event, looking to speak at the event or otherwise be involved, have activities in the booth, working with an engaged and trained staff, and following up ASAP on bonifide leads. Merely paying for a booth and showing up will not generate the business potential.

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